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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 November, 2004, 09:32 GMT
Fish deal makes positive waves
Scotland's fisheries minister hailed the deal
Fisheries Minister Ross Finnie has described a fishing agreement between the EU and Norway as "a fair deal for Scotland's fishermen".

The Scottish Executive said the deal would ensure the Scottish fleet receives its share of mackerel in the Norwegian zone.

If EU ministers approve the deal next month, Scottish skippers will be able to catch more whiting and herring.

However, the Scottish Tories said fishermen would be "disappointed".

Mr Finnie said: "This year it was crucially important to secure the full Scottish share of the mackerel fishery.

"Despite pressure from Norway to change the shares, we achieved our objective."

The minister said the long-term management of haddock had been put on a sustainable footing to ensure the current "abundance" of this species could be caught over an extended period.

'No justification'

Ted Brocklebank, the Scottish Tories' fisheries spokesman, said Scotland's fishermen would be "angry and disappointed".

He said: "It is rubbing their noses in it when their own fisheries minister is prepared to trade 15% of next year's haddock total allowable catch before they have even begun to discuss days at sea for next year.

"While I welcome the removal of the iniquitous and ludicrous permit system as it applied to whitefish, there is absolutely no justification for the proposed extension to the permit system to prawns, which are also in abundance in Scottish waters."


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